A Kinematic Model to Assess Spinal Motion During Walking Academic Article uri icon


  • STUDY DESIGN AND OBJECTIVES: A 3-dimensional multi-segment kinematic spine model was developed for noninvasive analysis of spinal motion during walking. Preliminary data from able-bodied ambulators were collected and analyzed using the model. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Neither the spine's role during walking nor the effect of surgical spinal stabilization on gait is fully understood. Typically, gait analysis models disregard the spine entirely or regard it as a single rigid structure. Data on regional spinal movements, in conjunction with lower limb data, associated with walking are scarce. METHODS: KinTrak software (Motion Analysis Corp., Santa Rosa, CA) was used to create a biomechanical model for analysis of 3-dimensional regional spinal movements. Measuring known angles from a mechanical model and comparing them to the calculated angles validated the kinematic model. Spine motion data were collected from 10 able-bodied adults walking at 5 self-selected speeds. These results were compared to data reported in the literature. RESULTS: The uniaxial angles measured on the mechanical model were within 5 degrees of the calculated kinematic model angles, and the coupled angles were within 2 degrees. Regional spine kinematics from able-bodied subjects calculated with this model compared well to data reported by other authors. CONCLUSIONS: A multi-segment kinematic spine model has been developed and validated for analysis of spinal motion during walking. By understanding the spine's role during ambulation and the cause-and-effect relationship between spine motion and lower limb motion, preoperative planning may be augmented to restore normal alignment and balance with minimal negative effects on walking.


  • Konz, Regina J
  • Fatone, Stefania
  • Stine, Rebecca L
  • Ganju, Aruna
  • Gard, Steven A
  • Ondra, Stephen L

publication date

  • November 2006

published in